vylotte: (Knowledge)
[personal profile] vylotte
I didn't make it to 100, but I got close. And if you split the "Absolute Sandman" collections into their individual book counts, I surpassed!

The best:

The entire Sandman series, by Neil Gaiman via the gorgeous Absolute Sandman release. (#9-12 below)
Horns, by Joe Hill. (#17 below)
Elegy Beach, by Steven Boyett, the sequel to Ariel. (#38)
The Passage, by Justin Cronin. A gloriously sweeping and epic story of a vampire apocalypse. Trust me.(#52)
The Hunger Games and its sequels. (#57-59)
Joe Hill's Locke & Key graphic novels. (#53-55)
Warren Ellis' Planetary graphic novels. (#84-87)
The Guild comic series. (#90)
Richard Kadley and his gritty, violent and clever view of "urban fantasy." (#20 and 72)

(thanks to Goodreads for keeping track!)

1) Under the Dome, Stephen King. 3/5
Not bad, not epic. Review: I am happy to see that SK is back to quality over quantity, it's obvious a lot of time and care went into this novel. It suffered at times from extra-itis, too many filler people going this way and that, lending nothing more than a string of names gathering here and gathering there without any emotional or situational impact. And on a purely personal note I found it stressful at times to watch people blindly following an obvious despot. But that comes from my own habit of speaking up loudly and quickly when I feel idiocy abounds.

2) The Umbrella Academy, Vol 2: Dallas. 3/5
The continuation to the series by Gerard Way. Review: The team is back to save the world from yet another apocalypse, this one involving presidentail assassinations, nuclear weapons, time travel and vampire Vietcong. A lot of fun.

3) Hellblazer, the Devil You Know, by Jamie Delano. 3/5
I keep meaning to read more in this series, because John Constantine is the man. Review:
Holy 80s comic Batman! This is about beginnings and endings. The beginning of Constantine's friendships with the people in book one, the beginnings of his troubles. And some resolutions as well, of the plotlines that began with the mysterious woman in the first book, and his ghost in the machine. It heavily embraces all that is cringe-worthy of the 1980s, the greed and flash and nasty hair. It's worth reading if for nothing else. But be warned, when they say "graphic" novel, for Hellblazer they mean it.

4) The Zombie Survival Guide: Recorded Attacks, by Max Brooks. 3/5
A comic treatment of various zombie outbreaks throughout history.

5) Dead Until Dark (Sookie Stackhouse, #1), by Charlaine Harris. 2/5
Just not my thing, I didn't like the writing style and so I'm not interested in reading more.

6) This Is the Way the World Ends by James Morrow. 3/5
This one was a hard one to read, though worth the ride. I found my expectations were way off, it started as a bit satirical, whimsical, and quickly turned into stomach-clenching, heart-wrenching depictions that were truly awful. Just as quickly it was surreal, then turned into a very long stretch of legal and technical speak that scrambled my brain. I love how innovative and imaginative Morrow is, but I did find this very hard to read at times, for many reasons.

7) The Hammer of God, Arthur C Clarke. 4/5
Trying to catch up on the classics I've missed. Review: This is my first Clarke book, about an asteroid that is on a collision course towards earth and the steps taken to try to deflect it from its killer course. I tend to avoid hard fiction but this one was quite engaging and written in a way that a layman like myself could follow easily.

8) Interview with the Vampire, Anne Rice. 2/5
I was quite surprised to find I didn't like this book nearly as much as I did when I read it all those years ago. It felt kind of skeevy. Review: I must say, it's a lot different reading this at 40 than it was reading it in my 20s. I have less patience for the navel gazing. And all the sexual undercurrents between Louis and Claudia are quite the ICK. (reread)

9-12) Absolute Sandman Vols 1-4, Neil Gaiman, 5/5
An absolute pleasure to read. Re-inked and bound in leather, a delight to hold and experience. Also the first time I've read the series from start to finish, in order. (partial reread)

13) Ariel, a Book of the Change, Steven Boyett. 4/5
In the blink of an eye, technology no longer works and is replaced by magic. The story of a boy and his unicorn. Unlike Interview with the Vampire, this novel holds up quite well after 15 years. Well crafted and engrossing. (reread)

14) Fables: The Dark Ages (Fables #12), Bill Willingham. 4/5
The war may be over but there are still repercussions. The Fables move on but a new evil has come to town, with a bang.

15) Flashforward, by Robert J. Sawyer, 1/5
I picked this up because I enjoy the tv show and am always curious to see how a book translates into screen. It wasn't until I was a few chapters in that I realized this was written by the same author as wrote "Mindscan," a book I hated. My thoughts are: 1) the tv show tightened up the premise and sharpened the drama quite a bit by making the flash forward in the near future as opposed to 21 years hence, it was a very smart move; 2) It's an interesting idea and I give the author props for that; 3) I see some misogynistic tendencies in his writing that really rubs me wrong. Yes, seeing yourself making love to a woman 20 years your senior might be shocking, but to belabor over and over that she's a "crone" and dwelling on her saggy breasts is really telling. And that's just one incident, I had complaints about his female characters in "Mindscan" as well (plus his lazy storytelling and insistence of including random 2005-specific reference that will quickly date the book). I finished it only because it was a super fast read and I had no other book with me.

16) Armageddons, edited by Jack Dann, 3/5
Short stories on various forms of Armageddons. Some bangs, some whispers, some really crafty aliens. Recommended if you like the genre.

17) Horns, by Joe Hill, 5/5
So far Joe Hill can do no wrong, I have loved everything he's written. A man wakes up with devil horns and quickly finds people can't keep their deepest and darkest secrets from him. But more than a delightfully wicked romp, it's a book of redemption and humanity.

18) The Stand: American Nightmares, by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa. 4/5
Graphic adaptation of my favorite book ever. The saga continues as the survivors realize the flu has run its course and they're the only ones left standing. The dreams begin.

19) Beyond Armageddon, by Martin H. Greenberg. 2/5
Heavy and depressing, I guess I don't like nuclear-specific post-apocalyptic fiction*. Who would have known? *Except for Swan Song, which was more mythical and good v evil than pure nuclear Armageddon.

20) Sandman Slim, by Richard Kadrey. 4/5
Recently released from hell, an not too happy at the people that put him there. This is how urban fantasy should be, just magic, a city and a vendetta. Reminds me of China Mieville's aesthetic, though I think Kadrey's writing style is a bit more accessible.

21) The New Dead: A Zombie Anthology, edited by Christopher Golden. 3/5
I don't recall too much about this one, other than ZOMBIES!

22-23) The Walking Dead, Vols 1-2, by Robert Kirkman. 4/5

24) Boneshaker, by Cherie Priest. 4/5
It's hard to wander around the older parts of Seattle now, without superimposing scenes from the book. It starts off slow but really pays off if you let yourself care for the characters. Very vividly drawn.

25) The Devil's Alphabet, by Daryl Gregory. 3/5
I don't remember much about this one.

26-28) The Sandman: Endless Nights, Death: The High Cost of Living and Death: The Time of Your Life, by Neil Gaiman. 5/5
Finishing up the series in order to stave off the feeling of loss after I finally finished the fourth Absolute volume.

29) One Second After, by William Forstchen. 3/5
An EMP changes the world. A conservatively slanted view of survival after society dissolves. No sharing food here! Interesting, kind of scary and probably a lot closer to what it would really be like when everyone is trying to survive.

30-31) Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep, vols 1 and 2, by Phillip K Dick. 4/5
Lovely artwork and very true to the original novel.

32) Zombocalypse Now, by Matt Youngmark. 3/5
Zombie choose-your-own-adventure book! The first read-through, I created a Zombie Lord that doomed the earth. Can you do better?

33) Stitches, by David Small. 2/5
Made me feel sad and grimy after I read it. I don't like seeing kids treated badly, felt bleak.

34) Angel: Only Human, by Scott Lobdell. 3/5
Gunn and Ilyria go on an adventure.

35) Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Retreat (Season 8, Vol. 6), by Jane Espenson. 3/5
Hi, Oz!

36) The Sandman: Book of Dreams, edited by Neil Gaiman. 3/5
Various short stories about various characters in the Sandman universe.

37) The Talisman: Vol. 1: The Road of Trials, by Robin Furth. 4/5
Wow, there's a lot more depth and meaning to this now that I've read all the Dark Tower books. I might
have to dig out the novel itself, after these graphic adaptations play out.

38) Elegy Beach, by Steven Boyett. 5/5
A fantastic sequel to "Ariel," and well worth the wait. Thirty years past the change, when physics upended
and technology quit working and magic took its place. Here's hoping for a third book, as hinted by in the afterward.

39) The Illustrated Man, by Ray Bradbury. 4/5
The more I read his stuff, the more I love Ray Bradbury. A group of short stories with the unifying idea that they
are tattoos on the illustrated man that move, shift and tell the future.

40) Scott Pilgrim's Precious Little Life, by Bryan Lee O'Malley. 3/5
The story was clever but I'm not a fan of the manga style illustrations. Probably won't read on. Loved the movie! :)

41) Survivors, by Terry Nation. 3/5
I really enjoyed it until the last three pages, I felt the ending was really rushed and a total cheat. It almost ruined the whole book for me.

42) Getting to Calm: Cool-Headed Strategies for Parenting Tweens and Teens, by Laura Kastner. 3/5
A lot of really helpful ideas that I use still today. Really good information in this about dealing with teenagers, from a physiological standpoint (your teenager's brain is developing like this, therefore, this strategy will not work and this one will). But man I hate to read non-fiction, just not my favorite thing to spend my precious book time on.

43) Other People's Rejection Letters: 150 Letters You're Happy You Didn't Get, by Bill Shapiro. 4/5

44-47) Transmetropolitan, Vols 1-4, by Warren Ellis, 4/5
In a dystopian, hedonistic future, journalist Spider Johnson has come back to town. It will never be the same.

48-51) The Books of Magic, Vols 1-3, and The Dreaming: Through the Gates of Horn & Ivory by Neil Gaiman and var. 4/5
A side trip through the Sandman universe, lots of familiar characters in cameos.

52) The Passage, by Justin Cronin. 5/5
What did I say up above? A gloriously sweeping and epic story of a vampire apocalypse. Indeed!

53-55) Locke & Key Vols 1-3, by Joe Hill. 5/5
Graphic story of a mysterious mansion, a strange presence and a whole lot of really trippy keys.

56) Feed, by Mira Grant. 4/5
As a former newsie myself, I really enjoyed this journalism-focused look at the life after the zombies come from the eyes of a blogger. A very well-formed world and virus.

57-59) The Hunger Games, Catching Fire and Mockingjay, by Suzanne Collins. 5/5
Hunger Games: I stayed up until 2am finishing this, I was completely engrossed. Reminiscent of SK's "Running Man," and "The Long Walk," and the excellent film, "Series 7: The Contenders." Another YA book with plenty to offer to the no-longer-YA set. Catching Fire: The sequel to The Hunger Games, I couldn't put this down and read it pretty much in one full day. There were a couple of times I think Kat was a little too clueless about the Mockingjay symbol but still full of suspense, action, elation and righteous fury. The third comes out in August and I have already pre-ordered it. These are keepers. Mockingjay: This one is a rougher read than the first two, pretty brutal in places. Still worth it for a fantastic world and characters. Glad to see Katniss is finally taking on the role of rebel figurehead with purpose, instead of falling into it accidentally.

60) Year Zero, by Jeff Long. 3/5
I was surprised to find myself very engaged with this novel. A collector of "year zero" memorabilia, in a hunt for Jesus's DNA, unleashes an extinction level plague on the world. Lots of interesting ideas on cloning, human rights and humanity in general. A bit too convenient that memory comes through a cloning event so completely intact.

61-64) The Boys, Vols 1-4, by Garth Ennis. 3/5
A very violent and twisted look at rampaging Superheros and a group that takes it upon themselves to police the supers. I am taking a break after reading four volumes in a fairly short period of time, I think my brain needs time to remember that life is good and the world can be a happy place! I swear!

65) Kraken, by China Mieville. 4/5
Now this is my kind of urban fantasy! No over-sexed detectives chasing after ethereal fae bois, this book was very reminiscent of Neil Gaiman and Clive Barker. Gods are alive and walking amongst us, the sea holds an embassy in the rickety old house down on the corner and London is alive and dripping with Knack. I really hope he writes more in this universe!

66) Kick Ass, by Mark Millar. 4/5
I read this the morning after watching the movie for the first time. The story was completely changed in parts. I enjoyed the film so I'm glad I watched that first. Had I read the book first I probably would have been peeved, especially with the liberties taken with Big Daddy's character.

67) Carpe Demon: Adventures of a Demon-Hunting Soccer Mom, by Kate Connor. 4/5
This was a lot of fun, I read it in about 3 1/2 hours broken over a couple of nights. I couldn't help but see correlations to the Buffyverse, Kate used to hunt vampires and demons for the Catholic Church in her teens, but retired to marry and raise a family. When demons appear in her town, she comes out of retirement to kick some evil arse. Strangely, after enjoying the heck out of this book, I couldn't get into the second, and won't be reading any more of these, most likely.

68-70) Astonishing X-Men Vols 1-3, by Joss Whedon. 4/5
Gorgeously illustrated, typical Joss where he pulls no punches and isn't afraid to kill the ones you love the best.

71) Peter and Max: A Fables Novel, by Bill Willingham. 4/5
A delightful novel set in the Fables universe, the story of Peter Piper and Bo Peep, with appearances of many of the Fables folk. I read this from start to finish in one day and think it's essential for any fan of the comics.

72) Butcher Bird: A Novel Of The Dominion, by Richard Kadrey. 4/5
I enjoyed the hell out of this book (spoiler pun!). In a dark alley, tattoo artist Spyder is attacked by a demon who infects him with sight, the ability to see the world how it really is, complete with angels, demons and many other lifeforms that fall between. But that's only the beginning of the story with an epic journey, battles and strange friends in strange places. I can only hope for the hinted-upon sequel.

73) Fables: The Great Fables Crossover (Fables, #13), by Bill Willingham. 4/5
I love me some Fables. Only now I need to read all the Jack books I missed. (Like that's a burden!) I loved the genre personifications, scifi and fantasy as twins was hysterical.

74) A Canticle for Leibowitz, by Walter M. Miller, Jr. 3/5
An order of monks has tasked themselves with protecting what scraps of knowledge remain after a nuclear holocaust. Split into three parts that transverse three distinct eras in the new civilization, it ends where it began. This book stuck with me more than most.

75) Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Twilight (Season Eight Volume 7), by Brad Meltzer. 3/5
I didn't like this as much as the others, the Twilight storyline wrapped up pretty lamely. Hot sex scenes, though. Review: Kinda "meh" on the whole "super slayer" plot line. Good to see Buffy and Angel together for real. Even better to see Spike!

76-79) The Ultimates, Vols 1-2 and The Ultimates 2, vols 1-2, by Mark Millar. 3/5
My first graphic exposure to SHIELD and Nick Fury, Ironman and the rest. Thor, I never doubted you.

80) I Am Number Four, by Pittacus Lore. 3/5
A fun read, but definitely "young adult" in focus. My kid claimed it when I got it from the library and read it first.

81) The Fall, by Guillermo Del Toro. 3/5
The vampire invasion of last year (book time, earlier in the week) is reaching a crescendo. It was quite easy to fall back
into the world, and remember characters from the first book. It follows the middle-book-destiny of leaving things bleak. In order to save the world in the third and final story? Man, I hope so.

82) Towers of Midnight, by Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson. 4/5
This is what I wrote when I first got it: SO EXCITED! I'm starting it when the kids go to bed. Book 13 of 14, I've been
reading in this universe for over two decades. Ex ... ci ... tid. Okay, I've read it now. A lot of moving everyone into position for the final book. Glad to see hope, progress, maturation. One more year!

83) Ocean, by Warren Ellis. 3/5
Creepy little stand-alone story set "100 years from today," about a discovery in the oceans of Europa, one of Jupiter's moons. A bit more cerebral (and less violent) than Warren Ellis' usual fare.

84-87) Planetary Vols 1-3, Planetary: Crossing Worlds, by Warren Ellis. 5/5
I LOVED this series. The perfect balance between art, story, characters and pacing. The final volume is waiting to be my first book of 2011.

88) Dr. Horrible and Other Horrible Stories, by Zack Whedon. 4/5
Interesting and fun, about what you expect. Definitely feels like the beginnings of a series instead of being quite self-contained. The events just leading up to the webisodes.

89) Serenity: The Shepherd's Tale, by Joss Whedon. 4/5
Finally, the story of Shepherd Book, from the Serenity universe. Would have made a better episode but I'll take what I can get.

90) The Guild, by Felicia Day.
Yes, technically I already read this earlier in the year, as the three individual comics were released. But I couldn't resist upgrading to the trade and there *was* some new material, so I'm counting it again :) Love it, of course. It has nothing to do with playing a healer myself.

91) Global Frequency, by Warren Ellis. 3/5
If you are the best at what you do, no matter what it is, you might find yourself on call with the Global Frequency. Saw the abandoned tv pilot, good stuff there, some of it lifted right from this volume. Too bad it didn't get its chance.

92-94) Outsiders Vols 1-3, by Judd Winick. 3/5
Following the devastating break of the Teen Titans, Nightwing forms a new group, called the Outsiders. Damn, Robin grew up!

95) Red, by Warren Ellis. 3/5
What happens when the most prolific assassin of our time is forced out of retirement? It's not pretty.

96) Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Riley One Shot (Season 8), by Jane Espenson. 4/5
While it was interesting to see how and why Riley hooked up with Twilight, it was also some good insights into Twilight's
motivations, which were fuzzy in the Buffy Season 8 graphic novel. A little clearer here (and still kind of lame).

97) Never Let Me Go, by Kazuo Ishiguro. 3/5
The story of three friends, "donors," who wander through their life. The tension and realization of their fate reveals over the course of the book, but there are no real theoretical or moral discussions until the last quarter of the book. I would have given this a four but the navel-gazing and constant obsessing over what this glance meant and what that look meant got tiresome by the end.

98) The Pro, by Garth Ennis. 3/5
Can anyone, given the power and motivation, become a super hero? An alien gifts a streetwalker with super powers, but she doesn't want to give up her night job yet. NSFW!


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